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FDA approves new HIV treatment Trogarzo (ibalizumab-uiyk) for patients who have limited treatment options



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FDA approves new HIV treatment Trogarzo (ibalizumab-uiyk),for patients who have limited treatment options

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Trogarzo (ibalizumab-uiyk), a new type of antiretroviral medication for adult patients living with HIV who have tried multiple HIV medications in the past (heavily treatment-experienced) and whose HIV infections cannot be successfully treated with other currently available therapies (multidrug resistant HIV, or MDR HIV).Trogarzo is administered intravenously once every 14 days by a trained medical professional and used in combination with other antiretroviral medications. Continue reading.



March 6, 2018


Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Trogarzo (ibalizumab-uiyk), a new type of antiretroviral medication for adult patients living with HIV who have tried multiple HIV medications in the past (heavily treatment-experienced) and whose HIV infections cannot be successfully treated with other currently available therapies (multidrug resistant HIV, or MDR HIV).Trogarzo is administered intravenously once every 14 days by a trained medical professional and used in combination with other antiretroviral medications.

“While most patients living with HIV can be successfully treated using a combination of two or more antiretroviral drugs, a small percentage of patients who have taken many HIV drugs in the past have multidrug resistant HIV, limiting their treatment options and putting them at a high risk of HIV-related complications and progression to death,” said Jeff Murray, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Trogarzo is the first drug in a new class of antiretroviral medications that can provide significant benefit to patients who have run out of HIV treatment options. New treatment options may be able to improve their outcomes.”

The safety and efficacy of Trogarzo were evaluated in a clinical trial of 40 heavily treatment-experienced patients with MDR HIV-1 who continued to have high levels of virus (HIV-RNA) in their blood despite being on antiretroviral drugs. Many of the participants had previously been treated with 10 or more antiretroviral drugs. The majority of participants experienced a significant decrease in their HIV-RNA levels one week after Trogarzo was added to their failing antiretroviral regimens. After 24 weeks of Trogarzo plus other antiretroviral drugs, 43 percent of the trial’s participants achieved HIV RNA suppression.

The clinical trial focused on the small patient population with limited treatment options and demonstrated the benefit of Trogarzo in achieving reduction of HIV RNA. The seriousness of the disease, the need to individualize other drugs in the treatment regimen, and safety data from other trials were considered in evaluating the Trogarzo development program.

A total of 292 patients with HIV-1 infection have been exposed to Trogarzo IV infusion. The most common adverse reactions to Trogarzo were diarrhea, dizziness, nausea and rash. Severe side effects included rash and changes in the immune system (immune reconstitution syndrome).
The FDA granted this application Fast TrackPriority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designations. Trogarzo also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

The FDA granted approval of Trogarzo to TaiMed Biologics USA Corp.

Theratechnologies Announces FDA Approval of Breakthrough Therapy, Trogarzo™ (ibalizumab-uiyk) Injection, the First HIV-1 Inhibitor and Long-Acting Monoclonal Antibody for Multidrug Resistant HIV-1


Theratechnologies Inc. 

  •  First HIV treatment approved with a new mechanism of action in more than 10 years
  • Infused every two weeks, only antiretroviral treatment (ART) that does not require daily dosing
  • Trogarzo™ has no drug-drug interactions and no cross-resistance with other ARTs

MONTREALMarch 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Theratechnologies Inc. (Theratechnologies) (TSX: TH) and its partner TaiMed Biologics, Inc. (TaiMed) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval of Trogarzo™ (ibalizumab-uiyk) Injection. In combination with other ARTs, Trogarzo™ is indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in heavily treatment-experienced adults with multidrug resistant HIV-1 infection failing their current antiretroviral regimen.1

Trogarzo™ represents a critical new treatment advance as the first HIV therapy with a new mechanism of action approved in 10 years and proven effectiveness in difficult-to-treat patients with limited options. Unlike all other classes of ARTs, Trogarzo™ is a CD4-directed post-attachment HIV-1 inhibitor that binds to CD4+ receptors on host cells and blocks the HIV virus from infecting the cells.1

“Today’s approval of Trogarzo™ by the FDA is great news for people infected with difficult-to-treat multidrug resistant HIV. We look forward to bringing this much-needed therapy to patients in the U.S within six weeks,” said Luc Tanguay, President and Chief Executive Officer, Theratechnologies Inc. “We are grateful to the patients, investigators, as well as the FDA who supported the clinical development of Trogarzo™, and are helping address this critical unmet medical need.”

Trogarzo™ previously received Breakthrough Therapy and Orphan Drug designations as well as Priority Review status from the FDA, underscoring the significance of the treatment for this patient population.

“I witnessed some of the earliest cases of HIV and AIDS, at a time when the diagnosis was terrifying to patients because in many cases it was a death sentence,” said David Ho, M.D., chief scientific advisor of TaiMed and scientific director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. “Since then, treatment advances and the discovery that combinations of ARTs was the best way to bring viral load below the level of detection have allowed most people to manage HIV like a chronic condition and live long, healthy lives. However, this is not the reality for people whose HIV is resistant to multiple drugs and whose viral load is not controlled, which is why TaiMed dedicated the past decade to advancing ibalizumab in the clinic. For these patients, it represents the next breakthrough.”

Up to 25,000 Americans with HIV are currently multidrug resistant, of which 12,000 are in urgent need of a new treatment option because their current treatment regimen is failing them and their viral load has risen to detectable levels, jeopardizing their health and making HIV transmittable.2-13 The best way to prevent the transmission of multidrug resistant HIV is to control the virus in those living with it. According to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the HIV virus cannot be transmitted if it is being fully suppressed.13

“I’ve struggled with multidrug resistant HIV for almost 30 years and it was completely debilitating to feel like I had run out of options – I made no long-term plans,” said Nelson Vergel, founder of the Program for Wellness Restoration (PoWeR) and Trogarzo™ patient. “Since starting treatment with Trogarzo™ six years ago and getting my viral load to an undetectable level, I have been my happiest, most productive self. Trogarzo™ is a new source of hope and peace of mind for people whose treatments have failed them, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to participate in the clinical trial program.”

TaiMed and Theratechnologies partnered on the development of Trogarzo™ so patients who can benefit from the treatment have access to it. For patients who need assistance accessing Trogarzo™ or who face challenges affording medicines, Theratechnologies has a team of patient care coordinators available to help. Patients can get assistance and expert support by contacting THERA patient support™ at 1-833-23-THERA (84372).

“In Phase 3 ibalizumab trials, we saw marked improvements in patients’ health who not only were heavily treatment-experienced and had limited remaining treatment options, but in cases they also had extremely high viral loads and significantly impaired immune systems,” said Edwin DeJesus, M.D., Medical Director for the Orlando Immunology Center. “As an investigator for ibalizumab clinical trials over nearly 10 years, it was remarkable and inspiring to see the dramatic effect ibalizumab had on such vulnerable patients. As a clinician, I am excited that we will now have another option with a different mechanism of action for our heavily pretreated patients who are struggling to keep their viral load below detection because their HIV is resistant to multiple drugs.”

Clinical Trial Findings

Clinical studies show that Trogarzo™, in combination with other ARTs, significantly reduces viral load and increases CD4+ (T-cell) count among patients with multidrug resistant HIV-1.

The Phase 3 trial showed:1

  • Trogarzo™ significantly reduced viral load within seven days after the first dose of functional monotherapy and maintained the treatment response when combined with an optimized background regimen that included at least one other active ART for up to 24 weeks of treatment, while being safe and well tolerated.
  • More than 80% of patients achieved the study’s primary endpoint – at least a 0.5 log10 (or 70%) viral load reduction from baseline seven days after receiving a 2,000 mg loading dose of Trogarzo™ and no adjustment to the failing background regimen.
  • The average viral load reduction after 24 weeks was 1.6 log10 with 43% of patients achieving undetectable viral loads.

Patients experienced a clinically-significant mean increase in CD4+ T-cells of 44 cells/mm3, and increases varied based on T-cell count at baseline. Rebuilding the immune system by increasing T-cell count is particularly important as people with multidrug resistant HIV-1 often have the most advanced form of HIV.1

The most common drug-related adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 5%) were diarrhea (8%), dizziness (8%), nausea (5%) and rash (5%). No drug-drug interactions were reported with other ARTs or medications, and no cross-resistance with other ARTs were observed.1

About Trogarzo™ (ibalizumab-uiyk) Injection

Trogarzo™ is a humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multidrug resistant HIV-1 infection. Trogarzo™ binds primarily to the second extracellular domain of the CD4+ T receptor, away from major histocompatibility complex II molecule binding sites. It prevents HIV from infecting CD4+ immune cells while preserving normal immunological function.


Trogarzo™ is a prescription HIV medicine that is used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infections in adults.

Trogarzo™ blocks HIV from infecting certain cells of the immune system. This prevents HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

Before you receive Trogarzo™, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Trogarzo™ may harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Trogarzo™ passes into breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Trogarzo™ can cause serious side effects, including:

Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines.  Your immune system might get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time.  Tell your health care provider right away if you start having new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.

The most common side effects of Trogarzo™ include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Rash

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Trogarzo™. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.  You may also report side effects to at 1-833-23THERA (1-833-238-4372).


About Theratechnologies

Theratechnologies (TSX: TH) is a specialty pharmaceutical company addressing unmet medical needs to promote healthy living and an improved quality of life among HIV patients. Further information about Theratechnologies is available on the Company’s website at and on SEDAR at

/////Trogarzo, ibalizumab-uiyk, fda 2018, Fast TrackPriority Review, Breakthrough Therapy designations,  Orphan Drug designation


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